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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

by a competent surgeon with reasonable care and skill. It should be noted
that the liability of the offender is, in no way, lessened even though life
might have been preserved by resorting to proper remedies and skilful
treatment (vide explanation 2, section 299, I.P.C., Appendix IV).

In a case 14 where the deceased was stabbed in the abdomen in the night of August
19, 1939, and died on the morning of August 21, it was held that the accused was guilty
of murder, as the stab which had penetrated the abdominal cavity and had pierced the
intestine was in the ordinary course sufficient to cause death. The mere fact that the
deceased might have been saved if expert medical attendance had been afforded at once
made no difference to the nature of the crime.

It must also be pointed out that where an injury is inflicted on a person
by a blow, which in the judgment of competent medical practitioners
renders an operation advisable, and as a preliminary to the operation chloro-
form is administered to the patient, who dies during its administration, and
it is agreed that the patient would not have died but for its administration,
the person causing the injury is liable to be indicted for manslaughter.15
On the contrary, if the hurt or wound is not mortal, and if it is clearly
proved that the death of the victim is caused by the application of unwhole-
some salves or medicines by himself or those about him, this cannot be
regarded as homicide.

During a quarrel over grazing cattle one Sobha struck a blow over the head of
his uncle and caused a wound over the top. The injury was thought to be simple
but death occurred three weeks later from sepsis consequent to the bad handling of
the wound and application of wrong village remedies. Sobha and his associate were
convicted under section 304, I.P.C. On an appeal in the Chief Court of Oudh it was
held that the accused had no intention of causing death of such bodily injury as he
knew to be likely to cause death, nor could it be held that the accused must have had
the knowledge that the blow he was dealing was likely to cause death. The conviction
tinder section 304, IP.C., was, therefore, set aside and the accused was convicted under
section 325, IRC.*6

WHICH OF THE SEVERAL INJURIES CAUSED DEATH ?

In the case of multiple injuries inflicted on a person by more than one
accused either at the same time or at different times, it is very essential to
discover the injury which proved fatal, and whether it was the result of
one or more blows; for the defence pleader may admit death, but may
plead that it was not due to the wound attributable to his client. This can
be ascertained by examining the wounds individually and noting which of
them involved injury to some vital organ or large blood vessel, or led to
secondary results causing death. For instance, there may be several
wounds on the scalp, but only one may cause fracture of the skull ending
in death. In some instances fracture of more than one skull bone may
result from only one blow. It must, however, be noted that, even if he fell
dead at the hands of one of them, all the accused are responsible for having
caused the death of their victim, if they started with the common object of
intentionally causing such hurt as would be likely to end fatally.17 For
example, in the case of Emperor v. Chandan and two others,18 where all
the three accused in furtherance of a common intention beat one Kallu Jat
with ZatTiis and one of the blows caused fracture of the skull, which resulted
in death on the following day, the accused were found guilty under section
304, I.P.C.j even though it was not ascertained as to who dealt the fatal
blow. In the case of Emperor v. Bukshan and others^ where a woman

14.   Madras High Court Cr. Aooeal No. 124 of 1939, K. E. v. Mahanti Sreeramulu;
41 Cr. Law Jow., 1940, tx 491.   See also 49 Criminal Law Jour., Nov. 1948, p. 647.

15.   Davis, {1883) 15 Cox 174; Ratanlal and Thakore, Law of Crimes, Ed. XVH, p. 701.

16.   Oudh Obief Ccmrt, Cram* Appeal No. 173 of 1S35, K. JB. v. Sobha and another, 36
Crm. Law J0mi% B35, p, 122L

17.   Fide Section 34, IJPXL, Appendix IV.

18.   27 Criminal Law JottraaZ, 1926, p. 619.
m   27 Criminal Law Jo&r^ 1$B5> p. 1285.